HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Trainer David Fawkes said it would have been a little embarrassing to show up at Monday's night's Eclipse Award ceremonies had his Eclipse Award candidate Big Drama lost his 2011 debut 48 hours earlier in Gulfstream Park's $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap.
Fortunately, Fawkes had little to worry about as Big Drama not only won Saturday's Grade 3 Mr. Prospector, he did it in style setting a track record of 1:08.12 for six furlongs en route to a convincing four-length victory over defending champion Custom for Carlos.
"I was wondering should I go Monday night if I get beat today," Fawkes said with a smile in the winner's circle after the Mr. Prospector.
Big Drama, who had not started since winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint two months ago, broke alertly from his outside post and as expected went right to the lead with Custom for Carlos pressing him briefly from the inside. Big Drama shook clear midway down the backstretch but had to bear down when re-engaged by Custom for Carlos entering the stretch. But from the eighth pole home it was no contest, with Big Drama easily pulling away once given some left-handed encouragement by jockey Eibar Coa. Our Edge finished a distant third.
"I thought the other horse would make us run today," said Fawkes , who trains Big Drama for owner-breeder Harold Queen. "But Drama proved what he is. Eibar said he was just waiting for the other horse to come to him and when he hits him left-handed he just explodes."
Big Drama ($3) now owns both the six- and seven-furlong track records at Gulfstream Park. He established the seven-furlong mark of 1:20.80 on March 28, 2009 when disqualified from first and placed second in the Swale Stakes.